5 Tips how to make garden borders better

top tips to make garden borders better

5 Top Tips to make garden borders better

Understanding how, why and what to plant in any garden border or overall design is tricky, especially if you are not an expert gardener.   Here are 5 tips that will help you make the garden borders better. Listen to the Podcast on Apple.

Gardens don’t always need a complete overhaul to make them better. Most of the time simply changing the planting in a border can transform any garden. Think of it like repainting one room of the house; you wouldn’t repaint every room. You just redecorate one room.

Gardens are in essence the same.  However, gardens are different in one obvious aspect – they are living. So things grow, flower, die back and change – all the time. Because of this many garden owners are unsure how to tackle the ‘redecoration’ in case they get it wrong.

Here's a recent redesign for a customer

a raised garden border planting before and after.

Tip 1 – to make your garden border better

Don’t Focus on the Negative

If the reason you are doing something is negative, then each time you look at that part of the garden; you are reminded of the bad bits.

  • I only planted that climber there to hide the fence
  • The big shrub covers the ugly shed so I can’t see it
  • The bins are behind that bush

Change the Question

  • What can I plant there to make that area more lovely
  • What plant / object / artwork would be more attractive to look at
  • How can I make this part of my garden beautiful

Then whenever you look at that part of the garden – you are focussed on the positive.

Tip 2 – Focus on Function

What is the plant there to do. What is it’s job function.

Do you need a plant to fill a hole in the planting, if so how big does it need to be.

Does the plant need to do something as well, should it smell nice because you are walking past it. Do you want to touch it, does it need to be a ‘look at me instead’ type of plant

Knowing what need, helps you choose the plant better.

Tip 3 – Avoid Pick and Mix Planting

Pick and mix or ‘pop it in’ planting choices often create a mismatching border. So tip 3 to help make your garden border better is all about impulse buying.

If and when you go to the garden centre – you know you will be tempted by all the lovely colourful flower displays. So have a plan.

Only impulse purchase plants for one of two reasons, give yourself a theme; so a colour choice or a plant variety. Or only buy a plant on impulse IF it is more than just a pretty flower.

Ask of the plant – “Once you have finished flowering; what else are you going to give me?”

If the plant has an answer – it has a purpose.

Sometimes you don’t need a design, you just want professional advice to sort out part of the garden.

Book a 30-minute design consultation.

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garden design rules, plant eye level down not feet up. Image shows tiny plants beside a tall wall

Tip 4 – And the most common border planting mistake of them all is!

Starting the planting from the bottom up. Always plan the planting from eye-level down. You don’t walk around a garden staring at the floor!

Tip 5 – Think of the view

If you aren’t sure where to start or what to do. Then initially look at the border through from the house. Sit in the chair and look out at the garden, the window or door frames the most important part of the garden from the house. This is the part you start with.

Can you add a focal point, what do you look at? How can you make that part more interesting to look at from the house.

If you are still a bit stuck, visit the designs shop – there are loads of beautiful border planting ideas for you to choose.

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